If you’ve always wanted to have a more active hand in summoning Great Old Ones instead of playing cards, moving some miniatures, or listening to an app … then A’Writhe: A Game of Eldritch Contortions is the game for you! In August, WizKids are releasing the game of body contortions (think Cthulhu mixed with that other twisting game) where players need to align their bodies over Arkham in order to manifest Great Old Ones.

Players gather in teams of two where one is the cultist and the other is the Great Old One. The cultist player instructs the Great Old One player (no, not your grandma) to place their appendages on various spots across Arkham in order to complete a specific pattern. Of course, since other deities are trying to enter the world at the same time, the competing deities’ appendages can be used as part of their own to complete patterns.

Up to 3 teams of 2 can play in this game of contortion (and backache for more veteran players). It comes with 20 mats, pattern cards, and various Great Old One roles. A’Writhe: A Game of Eldritch Contortions was designed by Jay E. Treat, III, with art by Simeon Cogswell and J. Lonnee. It plays in 30 minutes and supports players aged 14+.

More information can be obtained from the product page on the WizKids website.

A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch will add 5-6 player support and a number of new features in the upcoming extension to the existing game by Fantasy Flight Games. A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch adds several new mechanisms to the classic Catan gameplay. Players step into the roles of brothers of the Night’s Watch, who are tasked with recruiting guards for the wall and developing the Gift.

“The northern region known as the Gift was bestowed on the Night’s Watch thousands of years ago. This fertile land provides the Watch with lumber, brick, wool, grain, and ore. At least, it used to. As the Watch has become forgotten by the lords and ladies of Westeros, the infrastructure of the Gift has fallen into disrepair and the Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont, is willing to give anything to one who can restore the Gift to its former glory, even naming them as his successor.” [source]

Players are locked in competition to become the next Lord Commander by building roads, settlements, and keeps. Purchasing Development Cards and recruiting guards to defend the Wall are also crucial in proving players’ worth. With the addition of two more players, more land and paths are made available in an extended version of the game. The addition of a Special Build Phase in each player’s turn allows them to set each other apart as they spend their resources on unique, new opportunities.

4 new hero cards have also been added to hero display including the iconic Jon Snow who is able to protect a player from the robber, Tormund Giantsbane. The other heroes making their debut are Osha, Gilly, and Aemon Targaryen. Of course, to help balance out the boost to the players there’s an equal boost to the opposition in the form of mammoths to assist the two new Wildling clans.

A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch supports 3-4 players without the expansion, and 3-6 players including it. A typical game lasts 60-75 minutes though that will probably be lengthier with the extra players. The game was designed by Klaus Teuber and Benjamin Teuber and the extension should be released soon.

Related Content: Tom reviews A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch

For those fans of the Star Wars: X-Wing game who were concerned that Fantasy Flight Games might run out of ships to model their miniatures on, your concerns should be allayed by the recently announced addition of two factions from the Prequel movies and Clone Wars era. Now players can try their hand at the Old Republic and Separatist factions who each have their own, unique play styles.

With the addition of the “Force” mechanism to the 2nd edition of the game, the Old Republic’s Jedi Knights should provide for some interesting tactics and abilities to fully utilize it. Of course, if the Jedi are more prevalent then so are the Sith. The addition of Darth Maul and his Sith Inflitrator is sure to provide a foil to the new Jedi Starfighters. The resurrection of the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated show should also help flesh out new content for the game, along with the yearly Star Wars movies currently in the pipeline.

It appears that the redesign of the game has arrived in time to make full use of the expanded lore on the way.

“It’s immersing you even deeper in the lore. If you want to play a more straightforward, more straight-up version of the game, that’s very easy to do now. If you really want to dive into it and really go deep, there’s a clear path for that now, as well.” – Steve Horvath, Chief marketing officer of Fantasy Flight Games [source]

Fantasy Flight Games have spent 18 months of research, design, and testing in creating Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition and with the glut of new content on the way, fans of the game, and even those seeking to collect just the excellent miniatures, are in for a treat.

See the original article on the Star Wars website for more information.

Quoridor is the classic abstract strategy game where you are trying to get your piece across the board to the other side.  Sounds simple, but on your turn you have two options, move your piece, or place a wall onto the board.  This ratchets up the strategy quickly because now you have to weigh the options between throwing an obstacle into the path of your opponent, and moving yourself closer to victory.  Whoever manages to make it to the other side is the winner.

Quoridor Junior does little to change the game, but does give it an aesthetic upgrade and attempts to give it a bit of theme.  In Quoridor Junior you are different animals aiming for a goal, like a rabbit trying to get to the carrot buffet, or a cat trying to get to some warm milk.  No matter who you play as, the goal and gameplay are the same but with a kinder, gentler coat of paint.  Look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

CGE definitely has their holiday release schedule ready enough as-is, but as they’ve proven within the past few years – there’s always room for more word-based party games. That’s not me complaining, though, because CGE has been knocking it out of the park in that category, so it’s with great pleasure to share with you a few more coming quarter four of this year. The most exciting of the two releases is the all-new Trapwords – a party game inspired by the team vs. team play of Codenames with a slight twist thrown in. As described on CGE’s product page:

“Trapwords is a fun and fast-paced party game for two teams, who simultaneously prepare their lists of trapwords. The simple task of giving clues for your word is made fiendishly difficult by not knowing which words you can’t say. If you succeed, you advance to higher levels with more trapwords and additional challenges. Includes a set of regular words as well as a set with a fantasy theme.”

Codenames, on the other hand, does not need any introduction, but it’s still awesome to also announce that it’s Pictures version is getting the same XXL treatment that the base game has already gotten. There are no gameplay changes at all, just a giant version of the game this time featuring it’s unique and puzzling artwork on much bigger tiles. With this next step it is within reason to expect that Duet will receive the same treatment in the future, but I’m curious if the themed versions, such as Deep Undercover, Disney, and Marvel, will as well. We’ll have to wait and see! In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about these, and other, upcoming CGE releases, be sure to check out their website for updates.

Fantasy Flight Games is trying their hand at a whole new type of game that they are dubbing, Unique Games, where the contents of each box of the game are different than every other box.  Think of it like a mash up of booster packs for a CCG and a boxed board game, but without the collectible aspect of it.  While the core of the game mechanics and the pieces being used will be the same, the cards, scenarios, and campaigns will vary from box to box, giving each purchaser a unique version of that game.  The first game in the series was Keyforge, a two player battle card game where each deck you purchased was completely unique from any other.  But now they are being a bit more ambitious with their next game, Discover: Lands Unknown.

In Discover: Lands Unknown you are a group of survivors who are stuck on a mountaintop trying to stay warm, or maybe you are marooned on an island with strange creatures roaming about.  Once you know what sticky situation you are in, you will need to get a head count and see who is there with you and how they can help you to survive.  Maybe you have Jasmine the mountain climber who can get around easier, or Biff the lumberjack who can gather wood better, or maybe Laila the wildlife photographer who can find new features.  Gameplay at the core will be the same though, gathering resources and exploring the terrain in an effort to survive and escape.  During the day you will be doing actions, using up stamina as you go along, but make sure you get back to camp before you run out, or you risk spending the night vulnerable out in the wilderness.  Manage to stay alive and complete all the objectives and you will be able to escape!

If I didn’t say this game greatly intrigued me I would be lying, but the unique game aspect has my a little concerned and I hope that one game isn’t drastically different than the others.  But only time will tell, you can check out more information about the game on Fantasy Flight’s website, and look for the game to be released in the final quarter of this year.

Tabletopia has long been a digital environment where friends could gather online to play popular boardgames.  Until recently, users were limited to playing online with their computers through Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome or via Steam.  Over 600 games were available players to play through Tabletopia.  Now, with Tabletopia Mobile, players can take their online games on the road.  Currently, Tabletopia Mobile supports iPad and iOS tablets, but the Android release is close to release and cross platform capability is planned.  Tabletopia Mobile supports Solo, Hotseat, and online Multiplayers modes. Learn more about Tabletopia  and Tabletopia Mobile on their website.  Look for Tabletopia Mobile at the APP Store for your mobile device.

Travel back to an old world, to a city nestled beside a canyon, like no other. Welcome to Petra, where traveling caravans enter the city through a narrow canyon called “the Siq.” Invite them to your market for trade as you grow your settlement and your reputation. The more you grow the more benefits you’ll reap as you set your sights on becoming the most powerful leader in Petra.

Renegade Games Studio brings the magnificent city of Petra to life in Passing Through Petra, a new tile pushing and influence spreading game. It’s designed by J. Alex Kevern, who brought you favorites like Prowler’s Passage, Sentient, and World’s Fair 1893, and illustrated by Jain Orban. This newest release will be hitting the shelves in October.

The game is designed for 2-4 players, ages 14 and up. You’ll have around 60 minutes of game time to build your influence. The components add depth to the theming within the game and include: pre-painted Merchant Pawns, recessed Player Boards, and plastic canyons walls.

To learn more, check out the full press release from Renegade Games Studio here!

Travel back in time to the world of Ancient Greece with their art, academia and mythology in Hellenica by MR. B. Games. This game combines a multitude of mechanics such as area control, resource management, strategy and combat that makes it infinitely replayable. The object is to reach 3 of your chosen objectives.

“Your goal is to become the preeminent symbol of Greece for all posterity by completing a combination of secret and public goals. Will you be remembered as a warmonger or a peaceful philosopher? Great priest or apostate? Will you develop a devotion to the gods or focus on the advancement of your people? Can you guide your civilization during these turbulent times? Will your vision of Hellenic civilization be remembered for all time, or will you merely be a stepping stone for another…?”

As you try to reach your 3 objectives you will take 7 steps per turn:  Research/Advancement, Worship, Build, Train, Supply Troops, World Event , Pass, Upkeep Phase. All of these steps are specific and intricate and the direction you take will depend on the goals you have. If you want to gain more favor from the Gods then you would build more temples and try to earn more favor tokens. If you have a military objective you would build more barracks and train more troops.

Hellenica is on Kickstarter until September 7th, 2018 and will be exclusive to this campaign and MR. B. Games. So don’t wait!

“The Limited Edition Core Game of Hellenica will not be available outside of this campaign and direct from MR. B. Games and will feature solo play and support up to 7 players. Rather than make those expansions, we are including everything we have in the Core Game (think of it as the the Core Game AND the first two expansions already bundled together!)”

And check out the campaign page to see Mark and Randy from Dice Tower as they preview this epic game!

Quined Games is set to launch Counterfeiters– a resource management game of mafia mastery where players print fake money and launder it into the real thing.  Play as a mafia counterfeiter in Miami, Florida using Supermarkets to launder your fake money, Black Markets to make higher quality counterfeits and Offshore Accounts to hide your real money from the Godfather and the police. To play you place one of your henchman on the board in the location you want to go. There are 6 different options: Buy at the Black Market,  Print fake money, Flog (launder) your money at the Supermarket or through a Receiver, Commit Tax Fraud or Fly to the Caribbean (stash your real cash.) You take the action based on that location- for instance:  if you go to the Black Market you use real money to purchase printers, ink, holograms and paper (so you can make better fake money,) diners (convert fake bills to real ones) or a private jet (to fly your real money to safety).  You can also ask the Godfather for protection – but it’ll cost ya! All the while the police are on your tale and the Supermarkets are getting wise to your counterfeit game. So look out! You may not be able to launder those low quality bills for long! Be the one with the most real money at the end of the game and you are the winner! Counterfeiters is for 2-4 players ages 13 and up.